Lost Tribes of Israel: Indian Families Make Aliya
JERUSALEM, Israel -- For nearly 2,700 years, a tribe called the Bnei Menashe in India has maintained their Jewish roots. They believe they're part of the lost tribes of Israel, and now many are returning to their ancient homeland.
Several Indian families recently reunited at Tel Aviv's Ben Gurion Airport. Michael Freund, with Shavei Israel, has worked for years to help bring about these moments.
Freund believes the Bnei Menashe return fulfills biblical prophecy.
"We're watching as prophecy comes to life before our eyes," Freund said. "God remembers His promises to His people Israel. God is faithful. He is gathering His children in from all over the earth."
This is the second part of a long awaited migration. Nearly 2,000 tribe members live in Israel, but five years ago the government stopped their return.
Now, the government will permit all the Bnei Menashe -- about 7,000 -- to return.
"After 2,700 years of exile, the Bnei Menashe is coming back," Bnei Menashe organizer Zvi Halvei said. "Of the 10 lost tribes, the Bnei Menashe will come back the first. So we did it!"
The Assyrian Empire exiled the tribe of Manassah almost 3,000 years ago. Although they settled in Northeast India, tribe members kept their Jewish roots for more than 2,000 years.
Several Christian organizations helped bring them home.
"I'm grateful to our partners out there, Jews and Christians who stand with us, pray for us, and help to facilitate this miracle," Freund said. "I'm grateful to CBN, to Gordon Robertson, to Michael Little and the whole team there."
"We support the aliya of the Jewish people because we believe it's the hand of God," David Parsons, with the International Christian Embassy Jerusalem, told CBN News.
"The Lord said He scattered the Jewish people, but He would never leave them scattered among the nations," he continued. "He would always come and find them even if they were scattered to the ends of the earth."
"And He said, 'I'm going to bring your sons from the east' in the book of Isaiah," he said. "And these are certainly Jewish people, ancient Israelite tribe that are coming home from the east."
"It's something their ancestors dreamed about for 2,700 years," he said. "And despite being cut off from the rest of the people of Israel for so long Bnei Menashe never forgot who they are."
"They never forgot where they came from and they never forgot where they dreamed of one day returning," he said. "And now, thank God, they're back home."